More Tools for Airbrush


Last time I mentioned some tools for airbrush and I thought that for a while the topic might be covered; after that I wanted to prepare a “how to” about one additional tool that I haven’t mentioned before. Actually I’ve found out that there is many more of them that I have forgotten, so today I’m extending the airbrush tools topic.

Easel – probably one of the most important things after you have all I mentioned in the last article, maybe even more important than all the cleaning or masking tools. Choosing the right easel depends a lot on the technique of airbrush you’re planning to do. If you’re going to do illustrations or portraits on a flat surfaces like illustration boards, Bristol paper or some pads then you will need this easel. The size, of course, depends on size of your art. Low on budget? No problem, the Internet is full of detailed tutorials that will show you how to build one yourself.

If you’re planning to airbrush T-shirts then you should look also for T-shirt board and also have some iron at hand.

Have you ever heard the term “airbrush work station”? Well, if you get a good easel then it can be almost full airbrush work station. Or you can make some additional shelves or use some table beside easel where you will have all your paints, airbrushes…

Iwata has in their product menu one, kind of mobile airbrush work station “Iwata Studio Series Maxx Jet”. It is a compressor in the box where you can keep all you airbrush tools. The only thing missing there is the easel.

The other concern is when you are a scale modeler, then you probably need a spray booth. Be careful, the term “spray both” is not exactly defined, so scale modelers, you should look for compact or hobby spray booth. I’m going to give you kind of direction here, if you are curious, check out this page to see what I mean. The price range here is from $130 to over one thousand bucks. This is also popular topic in DIY, maybe someday I’ll post a tutorial.

If you want to build one then I should warn you up front. Practically all of tutorials out there don’t mention the risks of explosion. The thing is that this booth should extract paint fumes where some of them can be explosive. The solution is actually simple, which is using a proper fan for the job.

If you want to paint large object such as cars and bikes you will find these spray booths on the first page of Google.

Frisket film – self-adhering masking film with a removable adhesive that leaves no residue. Excellent for use on smooth surfaces such as illustration board, photographs and most of airbrush techniques. Also used for stenciling and retouching. The film comes in several versions: easy-peel, “low tack” for smooth surfaces and airbrushing, “extra tack” for rough boards and other surfaces requiring extra adhesion and “all-purpose” (cheaper low-tack alternative).

Frisket is sold in packs, by the sheet or on rolls in clear and matte versions.

Liquid frisket is a liquid masking film that can be applied to your artwork to mask some areas from being painted exactly as masking tape.

The use of liquid frisket comes in handy when your art piece includes many tiny details. If you see that painting so many detail can take forever because it is going to be very difficult to cut it all from frisket film then you should use this liquid one.

Stencils – Everybody knows what stencils are. A lot of airbrush artist can’t imagine to work without them but they are not that crucial. Yes, they make our lives easier but I know about artists that don’t use them at all and paint unbelievable art (for example – Airbrush Fitto). If you are the one that can’t exist without stencils then I recommend to visit Airsick Stencils store – their stencils are one of the best.

X-ACTO knife a.k.a. Exacto knife a.k.a. Frisket knife a.k.a. Stencil knife… We can go on and on. No matter how you call this knife, it always be the tool you may need. It has changeable blades and the primary purpose is to cut frisket film or any other masking material to create a stencil.

Cutting Mats – this is actually the mat on which you’d perform stencil cutting. Very durable and available in many different colors and sizes.

Electric eraser – is used to remove paint, add highlights, blend out hard lines and make textures… The good thing is that it’s able to make changes in tight areas which cannot be reached with regular eraser.

You can see that it’s a really simple tool that works like a small hand drill. I have one of those drills at home so I didn’t think of buying this electric eraser, all I needed is the set of replaceable erasers ;)

Projector – as sellers say – practical way to save time and improve results. Yes, this is true. It is something similar to stencils because it saves time but in different way, it enlarges actual reference picture. Enlargement, sometimes up to 30 times or also reduces down to even 70% of the original size, gives unlimited possibilities. Simply mount your pattern and project your design on it. The only catch is – dark room required. I, sometimes, use projector when painting big murals but only to trace it onto the wall.

I didn’t have any intention to look for this kind of equipment for airbrushing as I’ve bought HD ready projector to watch movies long time ago and now I can use it even for airbrushing, projecting the design directly from computer. HD projectors are expensive, even SD are still expensive but you don’t need those if you are not planning to entertain yourself. In some web stores you can get a projector from only $30.

This is all for today. I’m waiting for your advices in comments below.
Please share the knowledge!

  • Chris

    Converted a traditional drawing table to a lightbox. Works with paper and canvas, Total costs approx 50 Euro. Inaccurate projecting is no longer needed. Reference can be taped to paper or canvas which allows to work on several projects simultaneously; simply change the sets on the lightbox.

    • Awesome idea, I would be glad if you provide more informational step by step guide “”how to create this awesome thing” so we can publish as separate helpful tutorial ;)

      • Chris

        I’ll be visiting the UK for the next weeks. After that I will compose a tutorial on how to do it and where I got my materials. Cheers!